Victorious Ukrainian troops have filmed a video showing Ukraine’s flag being hosted over the outskirts of Lyman in the east of the country. Russia’s troops have been surrounded in the eastern stronghold which is a major logistics and transport hub for Vladimir Putin’s forces.
The video shows two Ukrainian soldiers on top of an armoured car attaching the blue and yellow flag to a sign at the entrance to Lyman.
“October 1, we are unfurling our state flag and establishing it on our land.
“Lyman will be Ukraine,” one of the soldiers said
The city’s capture would be Ukraine’s biggest battlefield gain since a lightning counteroffensive in the northeastern Kharkiv region last month.
Russian military bloggers appear to have confirmed the advance of Ukrainian troops into the suburbs of the city on Saturday.
“[Lyman] is in an extremely difficult situation and is actually surrounded by the enemy,” posted one in a pro-Russian Telegram channel.
“The front of defense has shifted to the city limits.
“Ukrainian soldiers have come to the outskirts and hang their flags on one of the signs.
“The RF Armed Forces continue active attempts to break through the blocking of the enemy and create a stable communication corridor between the Liman garrison and the main forces, but it is too early to talk about the success of these attempts.”
Ukraine’s exiled governor of Luhansk said Russian forces had sought safe passage out of the encirclement, but Ukraine rejected the request.
The Ukrainian General Staff told Reuters it had no such information.
Putin proclaimed the Donbas regions of Donetsk and Luhansk and the southern regions of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia to be Russian land in Friday’s ceremony – a swathe of territory equal to about 18 percent of Ukraine’s total surface land area.
Ukraine and its Western allies branded Russia’s move as illegal. Kyiv vowed to continue liberating its land of Russian forces and said it would not hold peace talks with Moscow while Putin remained as president.